Ashley Williams, a local mother who did everything she could to save her youngest son’s life, was convicted in relation to his death today. The child, who died of malnutrition, had an genetic disorder which his pediatrician failed to diagnose, despite his mother repeatedly taking him into the office and following every instruction the physician issued.
It is clear that the prosecution pursued this case only because Ms. Williams is a single black mother who is poor. She has essentially been convicted for lacking access to a better doctor for her child. The prosecution had no evidence that she ever neglected any of her four children, and so tried to whip up racist, classist sentiments regarding the suitability of a poor, single, black woman to be a mother.
This verdict is wrong- it ignores the facts of the case, and it is morally intolerable that a mother of three should be separated from her children in a Virginia prison for almost a decade because she had the misfortune to be poor and lack access to quality medical care.
I hope that everyone is prepared to assist the Williams family however they can in coping with this appalling injustice.
For a longer assessment of the history of the case, which has been aggressively against the truth since the beginning, see this writeup by the Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice, and Equality, who have been following the situation since it began.